As part of our 2018 Local Election coverage, we have contacted each candidate standing in 16 wards across South West Birmingham, asking them to contribute to this election’s ’500 Words’ series.
Each candidate has been invited to describe themselves and their campaigns in their own words. Their submissions will be published – without editing – in the order that they are received. Should they be longer than 500 words, they will be cropped.
With the formation of new wards across the city, this is an all-out election, with every seat up for grabs. Some wards have one seat and some have two. Learn more about the ward changes and your candidates.
Our first submission comes from one of two Liberal Democrat candidates for Longbridge & West Heath ward, where two seats are being decided: James Whorwood.
James Whorwood – Liberal Democrats – Longbridge & West Heath Ward
Birmingham risks becoming a city of grime and crime if it does not make significant changes.
The Liberal Democrats have set out comprehensive proposals to sort out refuse collections and recycling and to tackle flytipping and street cleanliness.
There are also radical plans to galvanise communities and improve community safety.
It has also set out ways to restore neighbourhood policing – calling for police community support officers to be given new enhanced roles and for an end to the programme of police station closures.
The Liberal Democrats have listed “14 to Fix” key policy areas setting out how they will make the necessary changes to the City Council.
Among new proposals in the manifesto are:
· Targets for prosecution of flytippers;
· Measures to tackle a plague of abandoned vehicles littering the streets;
· Detailed proposals to empower communities in Birmingham based on the new small council wards. These would, for instance, enable communities to pay for their own speed enforcement cameras;
· Proposals to revamp the road maintenance contract with Amey;
· Proposals for helping those facing homelessness and tackling rogue and exploitative landlords, street sleepers are an embarrassment to the City;
· Proposals for a Brummie bus ticket to mirror those offered in other parts of the region;
· The party’s approach to the opportunity provided by the 2022 Commonwealth Games;
· Support for child health through measures such as holiday meals clubs and encouraging walking to school.
The residents of Birmingham are suffering from a breakdown of basic services because the Labour-led council is putting ideology before people.
I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats have strong and practical ideas to keep the city clean and green, keep services running, and empower local communities.”
Our manifesto sets out what needs to change in Birmingham City Council after years of chaos and mismanagement.
The city has had three Labour leaders in three years and last year was forced to cave in over the bin strike.
The streets are dirty, the waste is not collected properly, and the roads and pavements are not maintained. People don’t feel safe because of the collapse of community policing. Cuts have not helped but nor has the ‘head in the sand’ approach of repeated Labour leaders.
The result is a city mired in grime and crime.
At present the council has no credible plan to sort out these problems. We do in the Liberal Democrats. We have fresh ideas, the energy to implement them and strong campaigns being run by candidates across the city.
We want a city that is happier, healthier and genuinely proud of itself.
You can find out more about our plans at: https://birminghamlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2018/1261864/birmingham-liberal-democrat-manifesto-2018-a-cleaner-greener-and-safer-city-the-change-that-birmingham-needs-to-make-it-a-city-fit-for-the-world-to-visit